Recently I caused a bit of an uproar on social media with a post. Did I know it would cause a disruption? No, but I was not surprised by the reactions. There is a section of passionate teachers who take their job seriously, and they do not take well to what they feel is criticism. So, I get it; they felt what I said was an attack. They also felt as though what I said was not appropriate for the time that we are in. We are still in the middle of a global pandemic where schools all across the country are struggling with educating their students. I understand all of that, but seriously people, let’s not act like there was not some truth in what I said. Here below is the tweet that caused such an issue with some people on Twitter:
I see a lot of stuff on Twitter daily that I disagree with, but if they did not @ me in the post, I keep scrolling. I do not understand how a tweet had people that angry and in their feelings. We talk with our kids and families every day about this new normal; we also, in the same conversation, game plan on ways to improve and make it manageable for all those involved. My above tweet is for those who are skating and then blaming e-learning.
I am not sure if intentionally or unintentionally people glossed over the “social media” part. The word that set people off was “complain.” Teacher complaining is not the issue. It is where teachers are complaining that was the issue for me. I wanted to let parents know, the people who I directed this tweet towards, that this is not okay.
I appreciate some of the back-and-forth dialogue that I had with those who actually read the entire post and did not focus on only a specific word or words. I could have probably provided more context on the type of complaints, but I did not know I needed to provide a full dissertation with my tweet. I do believe most that read it, who really understand who I am as a school leader, understood where I was coming from and what I was attempting to articulate. However, the idea of this not being the appropriate time, with all the stress educators are dealing with, well, that argument I can’t get with.
Newsflash, teachers, for the most part, are accomplished and educated professional. They could have probably chosen another career path for their lives, so they do have the capability to quit teaching and do something else. If this is so hard and so stressful, why stay in the profession? That does not sound healthy. Teachers can easily walk away; they can pick up their ball and play on another court. The parents and the students, who many complain are not logging on to their class or doing the virtual assignments that they worked so hard to plan, do not have many other options. Complaining about the job and profession you selected, and you decided to stick with during this pandemic does nothing for that student or his/her family. That was the point of my tweet. Teachers can walk away from a bad job, but students cannot walk away from bad teachers.
I think the ones who are mad are the same ones who put their kids on Chromebooks the whole time they were in-person, and now they are saying they are working hard because they can’t do that with parents being able to see them. They are complaining about the hard work because before the pandemic they were not working hard. In the words of Baltimore Public Schools Superintendent, Dr. Sonja Santelises, “trust us” isn’t enough.
I have learned that views, like the one I expressed, probably do not belong on Twitter because, by design, it is not intended to be a complete paper. I probably could have threaded my tweet by adding additional tweets, but what done, is done. Controversial statements can be misunderstood. I get that, but some people have drawn a line in the sand and won’t give any consideration to my views.